The reds are back in action at Old Trafford this Saturday playing host to Norwich City, as they attempt to maintain their 12 point lead at the top of the FA Premier League.
Chris Hughton will be hoping that his side can repeat the outcome of our meeting at Carrow Road in November, when Anthony Pilkington grabbed the only goal of the game and with it all three points in a shock victory for the home side. With such a cushion at the top of the table; and a hard, important Champions League game coming up on Wednesday; United may rest a few of the big-guns – and Norwich will be looking to take full advantage of that.
United Team News:
The reds will be without Darren Fletcher and Paul Scholes. Robin Van Persie is likely to be available, and Phil Jones is on his way back to fitness but it’s probable that he’ll be saved for Tuesday night if he’s recovered from his ankle injury.
Nemanja Vidic is likely to be rested, with Jonny Evans or Chris Smalling perhaps taking his place. The front line could also have a different look to it than the first choice pairing of Rooney and Van Persie.
Norwich Team News:
Goalkeeper John Ruddy is still missing for the Canaries, and they’ll also be without Andrew Surman and Alexander Tettey.
Top scorer Grant Holt, who’s bagged five goals for the visitors this term is almost certain to start alongside former Leeds striker Robert Snodgrass, who is just behind Holt on four.
- Norwich have drawn four away games 1-1 this season, and been on the receiving end of a 5-0 hammering twice on their travels
- United are looking for their 11th straight home victory, and the most common home result for the reds this season has seen them win 2-1
- Patrice Evra and Jonny Evans are United’s 4th and 5th place top scorers this term
- Norwich at at their most vulnerable between 16th and 30th minute in away games, conceding six goals in 13 matches in 2012/2013.
Fancy a Flutter?
It always makes the game a little bit more interesting by having a little bit of money on it. Check out these odds from bet365.com:
- United to win 2-1 – 15/2
- Grant Holt to score any time in a 3-1 United win – 35/1
- Both teams to score – 5/6
- An own goal to be scored – 6/1
- Jonny Evans first goal in a 3-0 win – 90/1
In a match that Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled as ‘mundane’, once again extending the lead at the top to 15 points will heap the focus and pressure on to Man City who can’t afford any more slip ups. They don’t play until Monday, and any points dropped by the reds will give the neighbours a lift for their visit to Aston Villa.
Expect plenty of changes to the starting line up, and substitutions a bit earlier than normal with the Real Madrid game in mind. And be prepared for a game which might look like a walk in the park on paper, to be a far harder task out there on the pitch.
Wherever you’re watching it, enjoy the game.
Follow me on Twitter: @stevecrab